The Words of the Porter Family

Interview with Cardinal Liu Pin of Taipei

Martin Porter
October 1971

On my trip to the East in July and August it had been my desire to meet His Eminence Cardinal Liu Pin of Taipei, however due to the brevity of my stay in Taipei it was impossible to make an appointment. However I had the fortune to meet him twice this week so I was able to ask his Eminence the following questions.

Question: What was the relationship between you and Mr. Chou En-lai and what do you think of him as a person?

During the Sino-Japanese war a war council governed China. This council was composed of people from every walk of life. I represented the religious aspect of life and Mr. Chou En-lai was also there at this same war council. I did not have the opportunity to speak much to him privately but I was none the less able to make a clear picture of his personality during the council meetings. Mr. Chou En-lai is a very crafty and insidious man, quite the most insidious man in all of China. He is a very able politician, speaks very kindly to people when he chooses to be, but as I said before he is quite insidious. Personally I must say he was always courteous to me, but I never approved of his plans, or his way of life, so I always kept far away from him.

Question: Your Eminence, I hear that you have just arrived from U.S.A. where you had a meeting with President Nixon. I hear further that you spoke about Mr. Nixon's future trip to China. What do you personally think that Mr. Nixon will obtain by going to China?

I do not think that Mr. Nixon will obtain anything positive out of his visit to China. They will only make empty promises and then deny them later. Even if they promise Mr. Nixon the sun and the moon it will not be worth the paper it is written on. It will only just be another piece of paper thrown away. Mr. Nixon is a very shrewd politician but even still I do not see much possibility of reaching an agreement. One represents democracy and the other Communism -- two extreme differences. It is said that the extremes meet but I don't think it possible in this case. Mr. Nixon's motive is good and Mr. Chou En-lai's motive is certainly bad. What the Chinese receive from U. S. will only be used against Asia and themselves. Communism is just like poison and should be left quite alone. This is just Pope Pius XII said in 1937 in an encyclical. The Holy Father was distinctly aware at that time of the threat of Communism. How right he was saying that the nations should leave them quite alone. What has happened to the nations that have had dealings with the Communists? These nations have been suppressed by Communism or are in the process of being suppressed. We Christens say "leave evil and do good". Communism is the number one evil of this century so why don't we leave it alone? Sometimes we overlook the wisdom of our ancestors and the good teachings of the gospel.

Question: What do you think about the China question now being discussed at the U.N.?

The U.N. Charter clearly states that it opens its doors to all peace loving nations. This very same organization denounced China as being aggressor in the past. It is just mockery for the head of democracy to just turn round and welcome Red China into the U.N. You will see that if they do get accepted it will be the end of U.N. The Red Chinese will want to amend everything. 

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